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Asrock P55 Extreme4 review

Kat Orphanides
8 Mar 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
91
inc VAT

If you want to take advantage of Intel's easily overclockable LGA1156 processors, the P55 Extreme 4 has everything you'll need to build the ultimate PC, and costs less than £100.

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Specifications

LGA1156, ATX, Intel P55 chipset, supports: Core i3, Core i5, Core i7

Asrock’s P55 Extreme 4 is a snazzy looking ATX board designed for Intel’s socket LGA1156 processors. There’s a generous supply of expansion slots, with three PCI-E x1 slots, two PCI slots and a pair of PCI-E x16 slots that support both SLI and CrossFireX multi-graphics-card setups. It’s worth noting that dual x16 card configurations will only run each card at x8, though. Four memory slots can take up to 16GB of RAM at 1,866MHz.

Asrock P55 Extreme4

On-board you'll find one USB3 and three USB headers. There are six SATA2 ports and three SATA3 ports, plus an eSATA connector on the back plate. The back plate also includes eight USB ports, two of which are USB3, a pair of PS/2 ports, both optical and coaxial S/PDIF outputs and six driver-configurable 3.5mm stereo ports suitably for analogue surround sound. It also comes with Creative’s THX TruStudio PRO audio software, which allows OpenAL and EAX environmental gaming audio to be output via the Realtek ALC892 audio codec. It might not sound as good as most dedicated sound cards, but the software means it can do most of the same tricks. There’s also support for full quality Blu-ray audio. The motherboard has no integrated graphics, though, so you’ll need to use a dedicated graphics card.

Asrock P55 Extreme4 ports

The P55 Extreme 4 isn’t the cheapest LGA1156 motherboard around, but it’s reasonably priced for one with such a wide range of features. It only has the usual one-year Asrock warranty, though. Overclocking is made easy by a range of clear BIOS options and it performed well in tests with our reference processor, producing an Overall score of 129 in our tests. LGA1156 is currently an excellent choice for overclockers, with a wider range of unlocked processors than Intel’s newer Sandy Bridge CPUs. This isn't the cheapest LGA1156 motherboard around, but it’s certainly a good buy.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
Processor socketLGA1156
Form factorATX
Size305x244mm
Processor supportCore i3, Core i5, Core i7
Processor external bus133MHz (2.4GHz DMI)
Chipset north bridgeIntel P55
Chipset south bridgeIntel P55
Integrated graphicsNo
Supported memory typeDDR3 1066/1333/1600/1866(OC)/2133(OC)/2600(OC)
Maximum memory speedPC3-19200
Memory slots4
Maximum memory16GB
Dual-channel supportyes

Buying Information

Price£91
Supplierhttp://www.eclipse-computers.com
Detailswww.asrock.com

Internal Ports

Power connectors1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots2
Dual graphics architectureSLI, CrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots0
PCI-E x1 slots3
PCI slots2
Fan headers3
Floppy ports1
IDE ports1
Serial ATA ports10
RAID chipset (max disks)Intel P55 (6x SATAII, RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, JBOD), Marvell SE9128 (2x SATAIII, RAID 0, 1)

Features

Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports)Realtek ALC892 (6x analogue out, optical S/PDIF, coaxial S/PDIF)
USB2 ports / headers8/4
Firewire ports / headers0/0
Legacy ports2x PS/2
Other ports1x eSATAIII, 3x SATAIII
Cables included4x SATA, 2x SATA power, 1x IDE, 1x SLI
Brackets included1x front USB3 panel
Software includedTHX TruStudio PRO

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustmentCPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment600MHz

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